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The Civil War In Vivid Color

Civil War In Color

The Civil War has long been viewed through a black-and-white lens. Photographs taken by the early pioneers of photography; Matthew Brady and Alexander Gardner, have greatly impacted our perception of the war. Soldiers, towns, battlefields and political figures are remembered as ghostly figures, draped in drab shades of grey. I’ve often wondered if the nostalgia we have for this period in history would be any different if those historical moments were captured in color.  

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Clark Byers, the Barnyard Rembrandt

Clark Byers

While you might not know the name Clark Byers, there’s a good chance you know his work. The former $3-a-week buttermilk bottler turned sign painter, spent more than three decades crisscrossing 19 states, persuading farmers to let him paint their barns. And persuasion was needed. In exchange for a free paint job, farmers allowed Byers to incorporate advertising slogans into the job. His work, which once covered some 900 barn roofs, helped turn a sleepy tourist attraction into a world famous phenomenon. Read more

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The Battle of Dead Angle: 153 Years Later

Sam Watkins Dead Angle

“The First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiments will ever remember the battle of “Dead Angle,” which was fought June 27th, on the Kennesaw line, near Marietta, Georgia. It was one of the hottest and longest days of the year, and one of the most desperate and determinedly resisted battles fought during the whole war. Our regiment was stationed on an angel, a little spur of the mountain, or rather promontory of a range of hills, extending far out beyond the main line of battle, and was subject to the enfilading fire of forty pieces of artillery of the Federal batteries. It seemed fun for the guns of the whole Yankee army to play upon this point.” – Sam Watkins, First Tennessee Regiment, “Co. Aytch”

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Virginia Wine & Civil War Artifacts

Virginia Wine and Civil War Relics

For those of you that follow our blog, it should come as no surprise to you that I’m an unabashed nerd when it comes to Civil War history and artifacts. As such, I would like to dedicate this article to a delightful “nerd moment” that I recently experienced at The Winery at Bull Run. Read more

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Decoration Day & The Origins Of Memorial Day

Decoration-Day-Memorial-Day

Approximately 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives during the Civil War due to combat, accidents, starvation, and disease. Such carnage led to the creation of the country’s first national cemeteries, beginning in 1862. In the years following the end of hostilities, people in the North and South had begun holding tributes to honor the dead, decorating their graves with flowers and flags.

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Railroad Date Nails

Common place in the late-19th century through the mid-20th century, Date Nails were driven into railroad ties, utility poles, bridge timbers, and other wooden structures for record keeping purposes. Today, Date Nails are highly sought after artifacts by Railroadiana collectors.

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The Greatest Single-Wing Tailback Ever to Play Pro Football

Rock Island Independents, 1919

“All Right” Dwight LeRoux played 9 seasons (1913 to 1922) for the Rock Island Independents beginning in 1913. At the time he retired after the 1922 campaign, many observers proclaimed that he was the finest single-wing tailback ever to play pro football. Read more

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Benjamin Franklin’s Paper Money

Benjamin Franklin Paper Money

In 1723, at age 17, Benjamin Franklin arrived in Philadelphia – the same year that Pennsylvania first issued its colonial paper money. Upon arrival, Franklin bore witness to a city in distress – an obvious lack of permanent residents, vacant houses, and anemic economic activity. Read more

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19 Must-See Vintage Photographs

19 Must-See Vintage Photographs

Here are 19 must-see photographs from the past. Highlights include Hitler in shorts, a jackass wearing a gas mask, an astrochimp, a Confederate fighter pilot, and a monstrous bass! Read more

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The Ancient and Peaceful History of the Swastika

Ancient Peaceful History Swastika

In his pseudo autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf (My Struggle), Adolf Hitler explained the moment he chose the design of the Nazi flag. He wrote: “Meanwhile, I myself, after innumerable attempts, had put down a final form: a flag with a background of red, with a white circle, and in its center, a black swastika. And this then was kept. Read more